IFC’s Portlandia Season 3 – 092412

Keep Portland Geared

10 Holiday Gift Ideas from Portlandia

Portlandia returns January 21st at 10/9c on IFC.

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Jaded and indifferent toward the notion of commercialized holidays, the trendsetting characters of Portlandia aren’t the type to be rushing doorbuster sales on Black Friday. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be exchanging artisanal home cheeses and letterpress-stamped gift receipts over yuletide micheladas. (It just feels more authentic this way.)

Of course, this means more thought must be put into personalizing a present, far beyond what a Barnes & Noble gift card could accomplish. With that in mind — and with the charitable spirit of winter solstice in our hearts — here are 10 holiday gift ideas with the steampunk barista, communal gardener, and pedicab driver in mind.

1. Bird stencils ($4.73)

1. Put a Bird on It
Colorful avian silhouettes liven up everything — from antique coffee grinders to mason jar light fixtures. And why rob your acquaintances from the pleasures of crafting by buying a piece of seashell art with a boring gull already painted on? Grab a pack of stencils and open your loved one’s horizons to “putting a bird on it.” (Stuff the Portlandia Activity Book in their stocking for more fun.)


2. Gourmet Cacao ($13.57)

2. Cacao
If you’re hearing the word “cacao” repeated day-in and day-out, you’re not alone. The classy gourmet chocolate may cost roughly ten times that of a Hershey’s bar, but where else can you fine-tune a snack into percentages? Cacao: It’s as fun to eat as it is to whisper into your partner’s ear as he or she is sleeping.


3. Carrie Brownstein’s Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir ($16.77)

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

Riverhead Books

This October, Sleater-Kinney member and Portlandia co-creator Carrie Brownstein bore her soul in her book Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir. Opening up about her life on tour and the complex relationship she had with her parents, Brownstein produced a poignant autobiography that’ll stuff the finest stocking.


4. The Portlandia Cookbook: Cook Like a Local ($18.10)

Portlandia Cookbook

Clarkson Potter

Does this sound familiar? You went dumpster diving this morning and foraged a case of chocolate pudding that’s a mere two days past expiration, but the rest of your adult dodgeball team is coming tonight — and, boy, do they like their snack packs aged! Well, it’s time to ditch those boring old discarded meals and learn the ways of Portlandia‘s culinary experts!


5. Exercise Ball ($24.97)

Portlandia exercise ball

Just because you’re the mayor of the largest city in Oregon doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore your core. So friends of municipal leaders would be remiss not to gift them an exercise ball for isolating, strengthening, and bouncing — lots of bouncing. How else are they gonna look down their noses at Seattle?


6. Sunlight Therapy Lamp and 200ct bottle of Vitamin D ($65.99)

Portlandia Goths

The Pacific Northwest isn’t well acquainted with the big orange circle in the sky, commonly referred to as “the Sun” — a regional colloquialism originating somewhere in Southern California. So as your Portland pals are staring longingly at the vast grey bleakness, give them the gift of the only light they’ll see for most of the new year. And don’t forget the Vitamin D supplements!


7. One Year of a Digital Newsstand Subscription (Price Varies)

7. Did You Read
Did you read that piece about executive bindles in the Times? Did you catch that Cosmo article about books clubs being infiltrated by ISIS? Did you read? Did you read?!?! Keeping up with the latest think pieces would cost you a fortune in periodical storage in print form, so why not pony up for a year’s worth of digital magazines? Op-eds aren’t going to detract themselves.


8. Battlestar Galactica Ultimate Collection on Blu-ray ($81.99)

Portlandia next episode

At a time when television series are resurrected if viewers wish hard enough — or fund it themselves — fans should never give up hope that their favorite series is dead for good. (Even if that means finding someone who merely shares the name of the show’s creator.) But in the meantime, why not stock up on the Cylons that already exist and hold your own “next episode!” binge party?


9. Tattoo Removal ($500 per session)

9. Bad Tattoo
Look, we’ve all gone through our phases. Be it goth, ska, or Ani, our fleeting fandoms will occasionally get us into jams that are, uh, kinda permanent. So rather than let your inked buddies make a first impression that’s a little “sophomore year ’93,” get those Eddie Vedder portraits and “DUMP QUAYLE” slogans blasted off with a powerful laser.


10. Microhouse ($30,000)

10. Microhouse
Fact: The human body was never meant for a habitat larger than 400 square-feet. Anything beyond the size of a toolshed is needless luxury. So if you have 30 Gs to spare, set your closest friend up with the most efficient living space available. Budding manifesto authors gotta find their muses somewhere! (For a more moderately priced way to live the Portlandia life, give the gift of the Portlandia: A Guide for Visitors book.)

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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